MidEast

Mortars Strike Israeli Golan for Third Consecutive Day, Prompting IDF Response

Mortars fell on the Israeli Golan Heights for the third consecutive day in what is reported as “spillover” from the Syrian civil war.

A mortar shell fired from Syria landed in Israel on Monday morning, after three mortars landed on Sunday and another ten on Saturday.

In all cases, the mortars landed in open fields and there were no injuries or damage caused.

Saturday’s mortars prompted a response from Israel, with the IDF releasing material showing its air force hitting two Syrian tanks and a heavy machine gun. It was also reported that the strikes killed two Syrian soldiers.

On Sunday, the IDF responded again to the errant fire, striking two artillery positions and an ammunition truck belonging to the Syrian regime. Arabic media reported that five people were injured in the Israeli raid.

At the beginning of the weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “Last night the IDF attacked Syrian military targets. This was a vigorous response to mortar fire at our territory. Our policy is clear: we will not tolerate any spillover or trickle whatsoever—neither mortars nor rockets, from any front. We will respond strongly to any attack on our territory or our citizens.”

As a further precaution, the IDF has ordered Israeli civilians to keep away from open areas along the Syrian border near the city of Quneitra, where internal fighting is widespread.

Responding to the fire, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said: “We have no intention of standing idly by as our sovereignty and our security are violated, even if it is just a spillover of fighting between rebels and the Syrian regime.”

He added: “We respond decisively and with much thought to every such incident, just as the IDF did not too long ago in the Golan Heights. As far as we’re concerned, Assad’s government is responsible for everything that happens in its territory, and it will continue to bear the consequences if such incidents should recur.”

(via BICOM)

[Photo: BICOM]